What we do

Unity is a sacred calling

‘..that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. May they all be one, Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you’    (John 17:20-23 NRSV)

The Council of churches of WA (CCWA) is an incorporated association of Churches who seek to be true to the sacred calling given to us by Jesus, whose prayer was that we would be one.

The Council is an expression of this desire for greater unity and cooperation.  CCWA has an important role in:

  • promoting ecumenical worship
  • encouraging churches to pray for one another
  • facilitating formal and informal conversations between people or organisations of different church traditions
  • promoting joint social mission.
  • Encouraging churches to work together for justice and peace.

The Third World Conference on Faith and Order in Lund, Sweden in 1952 asked:

Should not our churches ask themselves whether they are showing sufficient eagerness to enter into conversation with other churches, and whether they should not act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel them to act separately?”

This question became the ecumenical movement’s “Lund Principle”

CCWA Mission:

“The Council of Churches WA gathers together in pilgrimage those Churches and Christian communities which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures and who commit themselves to deepen their relationship with each other.

Thus they will express more visibly the unity willed by Christ for the Church, and work together towards the fulfilment of their mission of common witness, proclamation and service, to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

The Council of Churches of WA calls on churches and Christian groups to deepen their relationships and their commitment to their common calling through dialogue, prayer, witness, service, and action in the cause of peace, justice and the preservation of the environment.

CCWA History

Despite many denominational divisions over the centuries, there has always been a core group of Christian people who were dreaming of, praying for and working towards a greater sense of unity and co-operation among Churches.

The Council of Churches’ history began in the late 1950s, when its name was the “WA Committee for the Australian Committee of the World Council of Churches”!  Over the years the most common name was the “Western Australian Council of Churches”.

When the Roman Catholic Church joined the name was changed to the “Conference of Churches of WA”.  In 2003 the name of the organisation was changed to “The Council of Churches of Western Australia (Inc)”.

The Council became an incorporated association in 1977.  The first General       Secretary was appointed in 1963.  The Council has been involved with ecumenical advocacy and social justice works, for around half a century.

We offer an open invitation to other churches to consider our invitation to join with us in this ecumenical work.

A brief history of the Council of Churches Office Bearers:

  • 2010-         *Executive Officer: Alan Jennings, Roman Catholic
  • 2011-12     *Ecumenical Officer:  Rev Isobelle Shortreed, Uniting Church 2013-                                                      Rev Frances Hadfield,  Uniting Church
  • *Two new positions created replacing the General Secretary Position

General Secretaries:

2009-2010                                           Rev Chris Bedding Locum General Secretary, Anglican

1998-2009                                           Rev Eira Clapton, Anglican

1992-1998                                           Rev Wes Hartley, UCA

1987-1991                                           Dr John Neal, Anglican (Full time from 1/1/88- 1/12/91)

1984-1987                                           Part time General Secretaries, one of whom was  George  Idle, UCA for a period of 6 months in l986.

1977-1983                                           Rev Roy Poole, Anglican

1972-1977                                           Rev Keith Dowding, Presbyterian/UCA

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